A specialist nurse in Newcastle has been awarded the title of ‘Queen’s nurse’ to recognise her commitment to high standards of patient care, education, and leadership for continence care.

Alyson Laws, a specialist nurse for continence in the community, helped to develop the community continence service in Newcastle. This has impacted thousands of people in the city and helped to improve their quality of life.

Nurses who hold the title benefit from developmental workshops, bursaries, networking opportunities, and a shared professional identity.

Alyson Laws said: “The Queen’s Nurse Programme is an advocate for community care and I am I delighted to be recognised as a Queen’s Nurse,

“I am looking forward to using the network to share my passion and educate others about the importance of good continence care for our patients.

“A vast majority of nursing care is carried out in the community. We know that one of the most common reasons patients have to leave their own home is because they are unable to manage bowel and bladder problems, often leaving their carers unable to cope.

“Rather than just give a patient a pad to use, we are listening to their concerns and working with them to make things better by giving them other treatment options. It’s a massive thing to patients to be able to keep them in their own home and give them back their independence.

“Ideally I want to see people earlier to offer good quality continence treatment programmes and to get us away as a society of accepting incontinence as inevitable, it is common but not normal and something can be done to make it better.”

Dr Crystal Oldman CBE, Chief Executive of the Queen’s Nursing Institute said: “On behalf of the QNI I would like to congratulate Alyson and welcome her as a Queen’s Nurse. Queen’s Nurses serve as leaders and role models in community nursing, delivering high-quality health care across the country.

“The application and assessment process to become a Queen’s Nurse is rigorous and requires a clear commitment to improving care for patients, their families and carers. We look forward to working with Alyson and all other new Queen’s Nurses who have received the title this year.”